As we’ve been treading water these past few weeks, a few things have risen to the surface. Mainly, some questions and then (thankfully) some Scripture.
The questions have been:
1. If I knew at the beginning all that I know now, would I do it anyway?
2. Is this worth it?
3. If I had to do it all over again, would I?
And the simple answers are:
1. Probably not. I would’ve been too afraid to obey.
2. Yes. Heck yes.
3. Over and over and over again.
Psalm 119: 105 says “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” (Drink if you grew up in the 80s in a Christian home and totally just sung that in your brain a la Amy Grant.)
This tells me that God’s promise is to lead me. Step by step. That I will safely see the next step, but not the whole landscape.
Folks, this is hard. And on the one hand, I hate this. I would have much preferred God to have shown up two years ago in a burning bush and said, “Okay, so here is what I’m going to do. You’re going to go here and do this and then this will happen and then we will party. The end.”
But on the other hand? God knows me. He knows that I’d hear “Okay so this is what I’m….” and then I’d go running off all willy-nilly forgetting that it was Him I was following. If God had told me that he was going to bring three children into my heart that wouldn’t be my kids but I’d ache for them for forever but He was doing it for them and not for me, I’d have politely said “No thank you.” If I’d know that the immigration steps would change and a two week process would become a six month process and that instead of a week in country we’d be staring down 3 plus weeks in country, I would’ve let His call go to voicemail. So knowing my feeble heart and scattered brain, He graciously left me in the dark. He said, “Sweet baby girl, you can’t handle to walk by sight. Not yet, anyway. So take my hand and walk by faith. Okay? All you can manage is to hold my pinkie? Fine. I get it. This is scary terrain and you’re going to trip and bloody your knees. But you’re not alone. I’ve given you Sloan. And I’m going to give you new friends and old friends to help you find My Hand again when you drop it. And I'll be here beside you and I'm going before you.”
But has this treacherous journey been worth it? Oh my goodness, yes! I have been blown away time and time again by God’s mercy, provision, grace, patience, tenderness, and sovereignty. I’ve grown apart from some friends during this journey because adoption is just hard to understand. I mean who runs headlong into a wall with their heart and pocketbook? Fools, really. But God has strengthened other relationships long dormant and even given Sloan and I new friends whose friendship is so dear it takes my breath away. Because most certainly after Himself, God’s greatest gift to us is His people.
And if I had to do it all over again, would I? That’s the million dollar question. Because if we hadn’t taken a detour in China we would’ve thought we only had a son and our timeline would’ve been different and Charlie and Mollie wouldn’t have been our Charlie and Mollie. Sure, we would’ve made a few different choices, but I’m thankful for all the lessons learned. As we did during our infertility, there have been rocky moments between Sloan and me. Moments where we forgot we were on the same team. Moments when our grief made us stabby and angry. But we’ve learned to forgive with greater ease. We’ve carried one another to the Cross time and time again. We’ve come to that strangely lovely place where all we have to give one another is Jesus.
So Lord, thanks. Please continue to remind me that You’ve lit the path for my next step. Help me not to run ahead of your leading. Thanks for pushing me out of my comfort zone. The folks You’ve got out here living on the fringe are amazing. As are You.